Electric car owners show off vehicles at National Drive Electric Week event

Many local drivers showcase their electric vehicles at the National Drive Electric Week event Oct.2 at the Del Mar College Center for Economic Developments.

Mike Barnes’s 1988 Nissan 300zx stood out against the Chevy Volts, Teslas and other electric vehicles at the National Drive Electric Week event.

Barnes, who swapped the car’s 18 MPG gas guzzling engine for an electric motor with 500 horsepower, was one of many local drivers showing off their vehicles at the event, held Oct. 2 at the Center for Economic Development. Barnes said he transformed the vehicle because he supports the idea of electric vehicles on the road. 

“I started Green Volt EV Conversions in 2011 after I saw the documentary ‘Who Killed the Electric Car.’  I built my own full electric car and decided to do EV conversions to put EVs back on the road.”

Barnes’ Nissan sports an electric motor, auto exhaust sound system, liquid cooling and other features.

Barnes said he is trying to get support for a student course on how to build electric cars at Del Mar College and the high schools in the area.

“I have been talking to local schools about starting programs to get students to learn how to work on electric vehicles. It’s growing everywhere. The biggest problem with new EVs is there are no qualified people to work on them and taking back to the dealer will be pricey,” Barnes said.

Del Mar College’s Department of Social Sciences hosted the event in conjunction with Plug-In America, the Sierra Club and the Electric Auto Association. Similar shows took place throughout the country from Sept. 23 to Oct. 2 to draw attention to the various benefits that come with driving an electric car or a plug-in hybrid automobile.

Nationwide, about 322,000 electric vehicles were sold in America in 2020, while in 2021, over 310,000 electric vehicles were sold in just the first six months of the year, according to Greencars.

“The future is with electric power and getting it from wind, solar and renewable sources,” Barnes said.

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